Risks and Consequences of Remote Work on a Tourist Visa in Japan

can i work remotely in japan on a tourist visa
can I work remotely in Japan on a tourist visa?


If you are thinking of working remotely in Japan while on a tourist visa, you should be aware of the legal ramifications and the rules established by Japanese immigration law.

This essay will examine the hazards associated with working remotely in Japan while on a tourist visa, as well as options for individuals looking to work lawfully there.


What is a Japanese tourist visa?

In Japan, a tourist visa is for sightseeing, visiting friends and relatives, or brief business trips for things like attending conferences and negotiating contracts.

Tourist visas are usually only good for a brief visit between 15 and 90 days, depending on the country of origin.

The Legality of Remote Work on a Tourist Visa

Japanese immigration rules do not clearly define the remote labor performed for a non-Japanese company while on a tourist visa.

Generally speaking, a holder of a tourist visa should not work or engage in activities that might be construed as labor within Japan.

This restriction includes working remotely for a business based abroad.

Engaging in work activities while on a tourist visa, even if the employer is overseas, may be considered a violation of the visa terms.

This interpretation holds because the primary reason for the visit, in this case, remains work-related rather than vacation. Japanese officials could view this as an attempt to bypass the regulations for legitimate work visas.


Risks and Penalties of Remote Work on a Tourist Visa in Japan

Working in Japan on a tourist visa, even remotely for a foreign company, carries significant risks.

If discovered, it could result in penalties such as fines, deportation, and an entry ban to Japan for a certain period.

These consequences not only affect the individual’s current stay but can also impact future travel to Japan.

Alternatives to a Tourist Visa

Here is a choice for individuals wishing to work remotely in Japan:

  1. Working Holiday Visa: Available to younger people from certain countries, this visa allows for both travel and employment in Japan for up to a year.
  2. Specified Skills Visa: For individuals who possess certain skills needed in the Japanese labor market.
  3. Business Manager Visa: Suitable for those planning to start a business or manage a company in Japan.
  4. Highly Skilled Professional Visa: For individuals with advanced and specialized skills.


Working remotely on a tourist visa in Tokyo is legally precarious and not advised.

Visitors need to respect the visa conditions and seek appropriate visas that align with their work intentions.

Consulting with immigration experts or legal advisors before traveling to Tokyo can provide guidance tailored to individual circumstances, ensuring compliance with Japanese immigration laws.

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